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Kusoma Group, an African Startup Portrait

Kusoma Group is a digital publisher, a bookstore and an online library of African Ebooks. We’re in a mission to save African books, authors and publishers by providing Ebooks to those who cannot afford hardcovers books. What we do is making African books available in digital and audible format, so they can be readable on tablets and readers, Smartphones and computers by anyone. Our goal is to democratize reading in order to reach another audience, while giving to the readers another reading experience. We expect to allow African People and the rest of the world to read books made by their Africans brothers and sisters.
We decided to start this project because of a reality that hurts us : African people do not read. This is also the reason why was thought and said that famous phrase that says that if one wants to hide something to a black, simply put it in a book. We believe that the book is an excellent tool to connect people to their culture, and through the book, one can not only promote its culture, but especially pass on to the future generations. Cinema can be a great way to do so, but the book is another one, and perhaps a way with more impact. Kusoma Group not only enable African writers to express themselves and make money through their feathers, it also helps young people to learn through books, and so be more creative and perform better in their studies.
As a young self-published author who was able to reach a large number of young readers across Africa and in the Diaspora, I think I figured out what to do to bring young people into reading. People used to say that young people do not read, and that this is an obstacle to their education; but what is not often said is that there is very little books in which these young people can relate to and through which they can identify themselves. I think being a young author legitimate me to carry this message and also allows me to better understand young people, because I’m not building this project for them, but with them.
For now, we have developed several partnerships with local publishers to digitally re-edit the books that can’t no longer be found in bookstores and are not republished. We’re still seeking for partnership with publishers so we can provide more books on our platform. We would also like them to allow us to make available current digital books that a certain portion of the population finds expensive. In parallel, we are working on the books that will be published by Kusoma Publishing. Our web and mobile platforms will be available in the beginning of June, God’s willing.
Our customers are all the readers of the world, owners of a computer, tablet or Smartphone. First, we focus on avid readers, but we plan to convert as many people as possible to reading. We believe that it’s possible because we have managed to do that informally with our own books. Our Business Model is simple. People can buy the books they want directly on our platform and read them on any device (computer, tablet or smartphone). If they do not want to buy any book, they can subscribe to our Online Library for the month, and access to all our African digital books which they can read through any medium. We also take a percentage on all books sold on our platform, whether published by independent authors or tradional publishers.
First, we need books. This is why we’re calling African authors, both new and those already known, to send us the manuscripts they’re hiding so we can edit them and make them available on our platform. We are also in the process of conversion of some books, like Un Chant Ecarlate of Mariama Ba, in digital format. In parallel, we need a web and mobile platform that are sufficiently innovative to meet our needs. Their building requires both funding a dedicated team. Second, we must promote the books published on our platform to bring readers to discover them. Third, we have to implement a strategy to promote our platform so that our books can be read beyond our African borders. By presenting this project, what we seek first is visibility. We would like African authors can see and understand the importance of this initiative that will enable them, if they are novices, to be known, if they are already known, to reach another audience.

Project : Kusoma Group

Short description of the project : Kusoma Group is a digital publisher, bookstore and an online library of African books

Founder : Ibuka Ndjoli

Website : http://www.kusomagroup.com

Date of creation : 2015-02-28

Country : Senegal

Business sector : Education

Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcusdawriter

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/kusomagroup

Twitter : https://twitter.com/kusomagroup